ESPN College GameDay producer Chris Fallica, a UM grad, is coming home for the Miami-Notre Dame game. Read our profile story here, which includes his thoughts on the matchup.
Now, going rapid-fire with “The Bear” …
How’d he get to GameDay?
Fallica, from the eastern Long Island hamlet of East Moriches, was a broadcast journalism/history double major at UM (1994 graduate). During his student days in the SID department, he was freelancing at a Heat-Knicks game and met broadcaster Mike Breen. That connection led to a WFAN radio internship in New York, which led to ESPN in 1995. He began working on GameDay in 1996, the same year as Kirk Herbstreit.
He has been present for many of the memorable college football events of the last two decades, including the 2002 Rose Bowl, when Miami won its fifth national title.
Favorite Lee Corso moment?
“It’s gotta be Houston, when the magical four-letter word snuck out,” Fallica said. He recalled powering down his computer and packing up, since the crew had a tight flight to Oregon for the prime-time game. “We gotta go,” Fallica said. “I knew what he was going to do to set it up, but when he dropped that bomb, I was mouthing to Kirk, ‘Did he just say what I thought he said?’ It was amazing, so surreal.”
His second-favorite Corso moment: when Corso and Bill Murray tussled on-set in 2013.
Does he remember running into former ESPN staffer Manny Diaz in Bristol?
“In passing,” Fallica said. “I didn’t know Manny. I passed him many times in the hall. I know he was someone that had a very good reputation as a (production assistant) there. His name is still highly thought of around here.”
OK, enough beating around the bush. Who’s going to be the GameDay guest picker?
“There was only one name that I threw out there, and that’s Luther Campbell,” Fallica said. “I would love to see the keeper of the original turnover chain, per se. I know a lot of people have thrown The Rock out there. Some people have thrown Ed Reed out there. Some people have thrown A-Rod out there. Some people are calling for Mr. 305, Pitbull. There’s certainly no lack of star power in South Florida.”
That decision is usually made Thursday or Friday. Fallica said he would be surprised if it wasn’t someone from that group. But said he’s “usually the last to know.”
Will the chain make an appearance?
“If the Turnover Chain is not around my neck at some point during the show on Saturday,” Fallica said, “I will be extremely disappointed.”
Will Corso put it on when he makes his pick?
To be determined.
“I’m curious to see what way he goes in this game,” Fallica said. “The Miami native (and former Miami Jackson High quarterback), back in the 305, making headgear pick No. 305 (of his career), and Notre Dame is one of the teams he’s picked against quite often.
“He also has a tendency to pick a lot of favorites this year.”
As of Wednesday evening, UM was a 3-point underdog.